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Chick-fil-A Campers Stake Out Spots for Free Food, Games



Warwick, RI – About 30 campers were staked out at Chick-fil-A’s first Rhode Island restaurant at 1500 Bald Hill Road Wednesday at about 3:30 p.m., with more showing up every few minutes.

The first 100 adults in line by 6 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 4  will receive a digital offer card loaded with 52 free Chick-fil-A meals – a total of more than $30,000 in free food, according to the company’s press release on the event.

Peter Lombari of Warwick was among the roughly 20 people who showed up at the new chicken sandwich restaurant Wednesday morning. He said he was having a good time, and had already enjoyed a few free meals from Chick-fil-A and enjoyed some games with his fellow campers.

“Couldn’t have asked for better weather,” said Brad Booth of Lincoln, who had also been camped outside the store since the morning with his wife, Heather Unterreiner. They showed up promptly at 5:30 a.m., he said.

They were sharing a patch of shade with Jenna McCoombs of Coventry and Rachel Nylin of East Greenwich, members of a mother’s group in West Warwick. The pair showed up for the free meals, which they plan to use during their meetings. Nylin figures their combined 104 free meals will last through about five meetings.

Jessi Miller of Warwick and Jeff Dart of Foxboro, MA, were passing through when they saw the campers, and discovered there was free food for the first 100 of them. They got Miller’s camping gear and set up.

“We just got here,” said Dart.

“Everyone’s really nice,” Miller said.

Mike Rodrigues, owner of CRIT Number Plates in Cranston, had some work to do designing products for his BMX accessory business. He said he  had just arrived and planned to set up a tent and laptop, get some work done and wait for the grand opening at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Rodriques said he’d sampled Chick-fil-A’s food and has been writing the company for the last three years asking them to open in Rhode Island.

Inside, Toushoua Xiong of Gloucester, RI, the franchise owner, showed off his good mood with wide smiles, noting he’s been asking to open the franchise for two years himself.

“I’m super excited to be here,” said Xiong, a former employee of the RI Dept. of Health. Xiong said he’d saved his money, intending to make the franchise a change of pace, but the application process is pretty competitive.

Chick fil-A only opens about 80 franchises a year, he said, and they get about 10,000 applications from aspiring franchisers. He said what set him apart from the pack was his commitment to supporting the community.

A book drive running during the opening is one example of that commitment, he said. “The book drive is just the beginning of things to come,” Xiong said.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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